The British Are Not Coming: Prince Albert, Lord Palmerston, and Civil War Diplomacy
Could the South have won the Civil War? Those who answer yes frequently invoke the scenario of British intervention on the side of the Confederate States of America, which might have encouraged the French to intervene as well. But was there ever a real chance that Great Britain would enter the war? Two figures are of key importance in answering this question. One is the Prime Minister, Lord Palmerston, who was more steadfastly opposed to intervention than many historians have recognized. The other is Prince Albert, who helped defuse the crisis over the Trent Affair, the one occasion when Palmerston might have wavered. And the answer is . . .
William B. (Bill) Robison, a native of Lecompte, Louisiana, earned the PhD in History at Louisiana State University in 1983, has been a faculty member in the Department of History and Political Science at Southeastern Louisiana University since then, and became Department Head in 1999. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on British History, received the President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1996, held the Fay Warren Reimers Distinguished Teaching Professorship in the Humanities in 1996-99, and administered two U.S. Department of Education Teaching American History Grants in 2004-11. Robison is co-author with Sue Parrill of The Tudors on Film and Television (McFarland, 2013); is editor of and contributor to History, Fiction, and ‘The Tudors’: Sex, Politics, Power, and Artistic License in Showtime’s Television Series (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016); is co-editor with Ronald H. Fritze of the Historical Dictionary of Stuart England (Greenwood, 1996) and the Historical Dictionary of Late Medieval England (Greenwood, 2002); is author of numerous articles, book chapters, essays, and reviews dealing with early modern England, film history, and popular culture; frequently gives public lectures and conducts library programs; is director of the film Louisiana During World War II; is a published poet; plays guitar with the band Snake Hat; and maintains the website www.tudorsonfilm.com. He and his family live in Baton Rouge.
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